We’re Still In a Pandemic, Aren’t We?

This was an interesting week. But I guess to tell it right, I have to start with last week. We had a COVID-scare. My brother was showing symptoms and went to get tested. He had been in contact with my parents. Socially distant contact, but still contact. My parents were supposed to be my childcare while I worked, but we didn’t want to possibly expose my daughter before the test results came back. So, I took a day off from work and acted as my own childcare.

It was a fantastic day. I really like being a dad. Plus, it was curriculum night. I had thought I was going to miss it because of work, but the stars aligned and I was able to attend. My daughter’s school system started the fall with hybrid learning, a week on followed by a week off so that there are never more than half the students in the school at a time. At curriculum night, the teacher talked about how well everything was going and that it looked like they would be switching to full-time school in a week.

I didn’t say anything, but it struck me as odd. Maybe it was just what my brother was going through amplified everything for me, but I felt like I was getting 3-4 positive test notifications each week from the school system and the news kept talking about how numbers were up. I know the difficulties of the hybrid system, but it seemed risky. But, it wasn’t my daughter’s teacher’s decision, so I wasn’t going to argue with her about it.

The next day, my brother’s test came back negative. I went to work. My parents watched my daughter. Back to normal, or at least 2020 normal. That evening, I got an email from the superintendent of my daughter’s school system. He expressed his regrets that the most recent COVID numbers weren’t good, and that they were going to stick with hybrid learning for the time being. That made me happy, I thought it was too soon for full time school anyway.

Now, for this week. I went to work on Monday. It was announced that someone at work tested positive for COVID. They wouldn’t tell us who, for obvious reasons, and they assured us that they did contact tracing and anyone who had been in close contact with the person was sent home. Apparently I hadn’t been in close contact with the person. Still, I couldn’t help speculating. I noticed the people who were missing. There was one that I was a little worried about, but the rest of them were people I never interacted with.

Later, I started feeling lousy. I tried to brush it off as hypochondria at first. It’s just all this COVID talk from the past week. It’s getting in my head. But, it got worse. Chills, sweating, headache, and nausea. It seems like almost everything is a symptom of COVID, but these definitely fell in the possible-COVID category. I’m a responsible person. I always wear my mask and keep socially distant, and the only responsible thing to do was to go home.

I won’t go into details, but the next day and a half weren’t fun. I called my doctor. I told him that under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t bother him. He assured me that I did the right thing. It was probably a stomach bug, but I needed a COVID test to make sure and that I had to isolate until the results of the test came back.

I went for the test the next morning (It wouldn’t have been safe to drive myself any earlier). I was already feeling a lot better. It’s kind of a weird feeling getting a test after you’ve started to feel better, but it couldn’t be helped. After the test, I called work and explained what was happening. They agreed that I should stay away pending the test results. Then, I had to coordinate my parenting arrangement with my ex, since I couldn’t see my daughter until after the test results.

The next two days were spent in a weird limbo. I felt fine, but I couldn’t work or go shopping or see my daughter or anything. I watched a bunch of baseball, read, and wrote. Finally, yesterday afternoon, I got a call from the doctor. The test was negative. I was in the clear.

I picked up my daughter so we could spend the weekend together. When we got home, there was an email from her superintendent. It seems that this week’s numbers were good. So he was announcing that, after next week, my daughter would be returning to full time school. She’s thrilled about it. She hates home-school.

I find myself confused. Like I said, I understand the difficulties of the hybrid model. It’s hard on the kids, the parents, jobs, schools, teachers, everyone. But, COVID is real. There’s no vaccine or reliable treatment. My family has had two COVID-scares in two weeks. We were lucky both times, but hundreds of thousands of families have not been so lucky. What’s the rush?

Is it just me? Who else feels this way?

2 thoughts on “We’re Still In a Pandemic, Aren’t We?

  1. Me. Me. Me.

    I’m appalled, actually. I was so relieved by the initial email, and so thrown by the second. I don’t understand why nobody thinks the schools have been reasonably ok BECAUSE of the hybrid and cohorts. My younger daughter is fully remote (our choice, for many reasons, and while it’s not perfect we’re comfortable with the choice for now), and my high schooler is hybrid because the courses she’s taking weren’t available on remote. She will have 32 people in her math classroom when they undo hybrid. My college students are stressed close to breaking. I’m not understanding “back to normal” when people are still getting sick and dying, and I’ve been struggling to figure out if we’re the only ones who feel that way.

    So glad both your tests were negative.

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